Now, Ken was once a minister at Mayflower UCC in South Minneapolis - a neighbor church to my own. Then he went to California, where he is on the staff at First Church of Berkley UCC. While there, my sister, then in seminary, had an internship with that church. When it came time for my sister to graduate from seminary, we needed some help getting me there. She asked the staff of the church if they could think of any ways for me, a financially struggling college student, to get a cheap ticket to California from Minnesota, since I was the only family member with enough flexibility of schedule to go. Well! Ken stepped up and used some of his frequent flyer miles to buy me a ticket!
A lot of people are ashamed of receiving charity, but I try not to be. Instead, I want to be grateful and I want to someday, somehow, show someone the Love of God the way that Ken did for me and my sister (ahem, that now REV. Cordelia, thank you very much!). For me, being with my sister during that time was so special and important. And, although she might not put it in these words, I think she needed me there - someone from our family who could stand up and cheer, who knew what she had gone through to get on that road.
Ken helped me be there for that moment, and seeing him today reminded me of the kind of generosity that is possible when we open our hearts to one another.